Housed in the original office building of the Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company that were built in 1901, the building is now designated a municipal heritage building and is located across the street from the present offices. The Sipiweske Museum not only highlights the history of the Mutual, but several other areas of the community’s past.
The word “Sipiweske” is Cree for “light through the trees” and was the original name of the town. After some controversy, the name of the town was changed to Wawanesa, which is believed to be Cree for “Whip-poor-will”.
The museum is maintained by a non-profit board and contains an interesting array of artifacts from the early history of the town, and of the country. It contains many Native artifacts, as well as ones from the first settlers of which most have been donated.
Some of the displays you’ll find in the museum include:
- Alonzo Fowler Kempton, the founder of the Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company in 1895 is “working” at his roll top desk, surrounded by treasures from the company’s past.
- A tribute to Nellie McClung who was a famous author and activist that has earned her recognition as one of Canada’s heroes of the 20th century.
- The Leigh Collection is an exquisite collection of white christening gowns and dresses.
- There is a collection of items from the Criddle and Vane families from Aweme on display, including a Browning telescope from England that Percy Criddle used to view Haley’s Comet in 1910.
Sipiweske Museum is located at 102-4th Street
(July & August)
1:00pm to 6:00pm, and 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Phone 204-824-2289
Tours can be arranged during May, June, September or October by calling 204-824-2244. The Sipiweske Museum is closed during the winter months.
Adults – $1.00
Children – $0.50